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TJ O’Connor, Ph.D., LTC (Ret.) - Florida Tech. Melbourne, FL, US

TJ O’Connor, Ph.D., LTC (Ret.)

Assistant Professor, Cybersecurity Program Chair | Computer Engineering and Sciences | Florida Tech


Dr. O’Connor’s research is focused on cybersecurity education, wireless protocols, software-defined radio and machine learning.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Internet of Things (IoT)

Information Security Engineering

Cybersecurity Education

Computer Security

Computer Science

Wireless Protocols


Dr. TJ O’Connor’s research centers on computer security, emphasizing cybersecurity education, the security and privacy of IoT devices, wireless protocols, software-defined networking, and machine learning approaches for security.

He has authored a book in the area, "Violent Python: A Cookbook for Hackers, Forensic Analysts, Penetration Testers and Security Engineers," and published his research in the proceedings of several academic conferences.

Dr. O’Connor served 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, retiring in 2019 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. His service included an academic appointment to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the U.S. Military Academy and four assignments supporting the Special Forces from the tactical level in Afghanistan and culminated with him serving as chief information officer for the 1st Special Forces Command Headquarters.

Dr. O’Connor is active in cyber security competitions and is the coach for Florida Tech's FITSec Cybersecurity Team. He previously served as head coach of the inaugural US Cyber Games team.

Research Focus (2)

Cyber Operations Concentration

The Cyber Operations Concentration builds upon the current ABET Accredited Bachelor of Science in Computer Science by adding six courses that focus on Cyber Operations and provide hands-on experience with tools and techniques for investigating, analyzing, and responding to cyber-attacks.

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IoT Security And Privacy Lab

Expanding the transparency and control of IoT devices by examining the state of security and privacy within Internet-of-Things (IoT) ecosystems.

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Media Assets


TJ O’Connor, Ph.D., LTC (Ret.) Publication



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Media Appearances (8)

Cybersecurity Goes to High School

Florida Tech News  


Led by Meredith Carroll, aeronautics professor, and TJ O’Connor, computer engineering and sciences assistant professor and head of Florida Tech’s cybersecurity program, the program is built on exposing high school students to cybersecurity training in a way that appeals to them and, thus, establishes a foundation that could lead to a career in the field.

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For U.S. Cyber Games Head Coach, Teach and Be Taught

Florida Tech News  


Though his role is guide and teacher, U.S. Cyber Games head coach TJ O’Connor expects to learn plenty from his young team. That’s good news for his students at Florida Tech.

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FITSEC Cybersecurity Team Tops in the Nation After Major Competition Victory

Florida Tech News  


TJ O’Connor, cybersecurity program chair and the faculty advisor for FITSEC, stressed the inclusive and welcoming environment of the team.

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U.S. pursues a unique solution to fight hackers. It revolves around esports.

The Washington Post  print


The U.S. cyber team’s head coach, retired Lt. Col. TJ O’Connor who served as a communications support officer with special forces, noted the unique platform presented by cybersecurity competitions. “Understanding the most likely attack is one thing you gain through Cyber Games. It’s an attack-based curriculum, and then you can plan the most appropriate strategies when they occur,” said O’Connor, who helped create and now chairs Florida Tech’s cybersecurity program.

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Florida Tech Cybersecurity Professor TJ O’Connor Named Head Coach for US Cyber Games

Techregister UK  online


TJ O’Connor, the cybersecurity researcher and assistant professor who leads Florida Tech’s cybersecurity program, has been named head coach of the first-ever US Cyber Games team. The inaugural US Cyber Games, led by Katzcy in cooperation with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education program at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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Examining IoT Security Weaknesses



TJ O'Connor, an assistant professor and head of the IoT Security and Privacy Lab at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, says the resource constraints on IoT devices prevent clear insight into exactly what devices are doing, such as turning on cameras or microphones.

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Investigation underway after water treatment plant is hacked

Fox 35 Orlando  tv


Hackers' botched attempt to poison the water supply of a small Florida city is raising alarms about just how vulnerable the nation’s water systems may be to attacks by more sophisticated intruders. Cybersecurity expert Dr. Terrence O'Connor weighs in.

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The Cybersecurity 202: Smart home devices with known security flaws are still on the market, researchers say

The Washington Post  


TJ O'Connor, a computer science professor at Florida Institute of Technology, and his graduate student Daniel Campos say they found vulnerabilities in seven models of smart doorbells and cameras from device maker Geeni and its parent company Merkury Innovations.

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Education (4)

NC State University: Ph.D., Computer Science 2019

SANS Technology Institute: M.S., Information Security Engineering 2012

NC State University: M.S., Computer Science 2008

US Military Academy at West Point: B.S., Computer Science 1999


Selected Articles (6)

Toward an Automatic Exploit Generation Competition for an Undergraduate Binary Reverse Engineering Course

Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education


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HELO DarkSide: Breaking Free From Katas and Embracing the Adversarial Mindset in Cybersecurity Education

Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE)


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A Replication Study for IoT Privacy Preferences

IEEE Conference on Omni-Layer Intelligent Systems (COINS)


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Through the Spyglass: Towards IoT Companion App Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

CSET '21: Cyber Security Experimentation and Test Workshop


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Towards Labeling On-Demand IoT Traffic

CSET '21: Cyber Security Experimentation and Test Workshop


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Teaching a Hands-On Mobile and Wireless Cybersecurity Course

ACM Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE)


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Languages (1)

  • Spanish

Affiliations (4)

  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society
  • Special Operations Support (K9) Identifier
  • Association for Computers and Machinery : Member
  • Wolfpack Security and Privacy Research Lab

Accomplishments (4)

Professor of the Year Award (professional)

2022 - Florida Tech Student Government Association

Best Faculty Award (professional)

2020 - International Student Community of Florida Tech

Best Paper Award (professional)

2019 - ACM WiSec

National Cybersecurity Innovation Award (professional)

2013 - SANS Technology Institute

Event Appearances (6)

A Case Against Smart Things

CFL Cybersecurity Summit - Invited Keynote Speaker  Lake Mary, FL


Modern Cyberwarfare: Lessons from the Ukrainian Conflict

1st Special Forces Command Communications Conference - Invited Guest Speaker  Tampa, FL


Going for the Gold! Insights and Lessons Learned from Coaching the First-ever US Cyber Games Team

NICE Conference and Expo  


The Picture is Incomplete

Fort Gordon Innovation Day - Guest Speaker  


A Case Against Smart Things: Reversing IoT Devices for Vulnerabilities

St Johns University  


IoT Dataset Findings IoT Man-in-the-Middle Vulnerabilities

US Army Cyber Command